Police use water cannons to clear a protest camp at Standing Rock in North Dakota. Photo by Unicorn Riot via Vimeo.

Sandy Tolan spent several weeks researching a piece for the Daily Beast (to be co-published by Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting) on police violence at Standing Rock, with reporting gathered over his five trips there since October.

“Six decades after tear gas, dogs, police batons, and hoses were turned on nonviolent civil rights marchers in the Deep South, those same tactics are deployed on overwhelmingly peaceful protesters in the Northern Plains,” he writes. “By all appearances, North Dakota has become the Selma of the North.”

Read the entire story here.

Veterans at Standing Rock

U.S. veterans prepare to confront police near the Cannonball River. Sandy Tolan reports that relations between protesters and the tribes are now strained. Photo by Stephanie Keith, Reuters.

Sandy Tolan has returned to North Dakota to report on the status of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the aftermath of the presidential order instructing the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the approval of construction permits.

Sandy found growing conflict between tribal leaders and the “water protectors” who have set up protest camps near the proposed pipeline path. You can read his piece on The Daily Beast.

Veterans at Standing Rock

Veterans apologized to tribal leaders for past misdeeds committed against Native Americans by the U.S. military. Photo by Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times.

At a time when so much of the nation is divided by politics and ideology, the protest against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota forged an unlikely coalition of veterans, Native Americans, and environmentalists who produced an even more unlikely outcome.

Sandy Tolan‘s story from Cannon Ball, ND, appeared in the Los Angeles Times on December 11. It’s a moving account of an emotional encounter.

DAPL protest camp

A blizzard hit the main protest camp the same day that the Army Corps of Engineers decided not to grant the permit required to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In his latest story from North Dakota for the Los Angeles Times, Sandy Tolan asks what we can expect now that the Army Corps of Engineers has declined to approve a permit that Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, needs in order to finish construction along the planned route.


Police advance on protesters

Police advance on protesters as helicopters hover overhead. Photo by Sandy Tolan.

Sandy Tolan was in North Dakota today as police and National Guard troops marched in to break up the protest over the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline.

He writes: “The protesters faced down the advancing forces with prayers, songs and torrents of declarations, including ‘Water is life!’ and ‘We will stand our ground!'”

You can read his story in the LA Times.


A group of youth demonstrators marching from Cannonball River to the Oceti Sakowin Campground. (Photo: Jacqueline Keeler)

A group of youth demonstrators marching from Cannonball River to the Oceti Sakowin Campground. Photo by Jacqueline Keeler (@jfkeeler).

Sandy Tolan is headed back to North Dakota, where he recently covered the protests by members of the Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters against the proposed 1,172-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline.

In his October 18 story in Salon.com, Sandy describes the tense standoff between police and the thousands of protesters who have set up camp at the site. Opposition to the $3.78 billion project, nicknamed “the black snake,” has brought together indigenous, environmental, and climate activists around the world.

“At times I felt like I was back reporting in the West Bank, not in the Northern Plains,” he writes.

You can also listen to an interview with Sandy on PRI’s Living on Earth, which includes sound he recorded at the site and clips of protest leaders.

One of Los Angeles’ NPR affiliates, KCRW, has launched Bear and Rux’s year-long multi-platform project about aging in the city’s working-class and immigrant neighborhoods. “Going Gray in LA: Stories of Aging along Broadway” is part of the station’s Independent Producer Project.

Latino elders enjoy the weekly dance at the Lincoln Heights Senior Center.

Latino elders enjoy the weekly dance at the Lincoln Heights Senior Center.

The first two radio stories (from the historic Latino neighborhood Lincoln Heights), a couple of photo essays, and some additional content is available on the project website.

Please check back every few weeks, as KCRW will be airing new stories and adding content to the website through next spring. “Going Gray in LA” is funded by the Eisner Foundation.



Homelands co-founder Sandy Tolan, author of the book Children of the Stone, is touring the eastern U.S. this fall with the book’s protagonist, the Palestinian musician Ramzi Aburedwan. They’ll be joined by Ramzi’s Arab/French fusion ensemble Dal’Ouna.

As a boy, Ramzi threw stones at Israeli tanks in the occupied West Bank. Sandy’s critically acclaimed book describes how he grew up to build music schools for Palestinian children.

The tour celebrates the release of Children of the Stone in paperback. You can donate and learn more on the tour’s Indiegogo campaign page.